STaRR Training

Program Overview

With support from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Western Alliance are delighted to have commenced our centrepiece research capability building program, known as the STaRR (Supporting Translation of Research in Rural and Regional areas) Program.

The STaRR Program was informed by a comprehensive scoping exercise, which included a systematic scoping review of the research education literature and the Victorian Rural/Regional Research Training Needs Project.

The STaRR Program builds on the support from our Research Translation Coordinator positions and includes a range of translation-focussed research training activities and resources, as well as support for organisation research planning.

STaRR training supports three key groups:

  • Research mentors
  • Health organisation managers and leaders
  • Emerging health practitioner researchers in health organisations across our region

STaRR Emerging Researcher Training – Expressions of Interest for 2022 open Monday 1 August

Western Alliance’s STaRR program aims to build research and research translation capacity in rural and regional health settings. 

Emerging Researcher Training

The aim of this program is to provide health practitioners with the foundational research skills needed to develop a research translation-focused project (i.e., a project that will develop evidence that will lead to changes in practice or policy, or use existing evidence to change current practice or policy).

The training will comprise of two 5-hour workshops that will be facilitated online. In addition, approximately four hours of additional project work is required each week for five weeks between the two workshops to develop a research protocol or proposal. STaRR participants will receive mentoring support and access to just-in-time resources to assist them.  

There will be an opportunity for STaRR participants to apply for grant funding to progress their research idea or translate the findings into practice.

Who can participate?

All health practitioners, including clinicians, program managers and health promotion staff working in health service or primary care settings at Western Alliance partner organisations (Barwon Health, Colac Area Health, East Grampians Health Service, Grampians Health, St John of God Healthcare in Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool, South West Healthcare, Western District Health Service, Western Victoria PHN) are invited to apply for the STaRR program.

We encourage those with limited or no prior research experience to apply. Western Alliance covers the cost of the training program, so you do not need to pay to participate.

Workshops overview

The training will comprise two 5-hour workshops that will be facilitated online. The workshops will be underpinned by the principles of research translation and will cover the following broad topics:

·          General introduction to research

·          Introduction to common data collection techniques

·          Developing a researchable question

·          Introduction to data analysis

·          Ethics and governance

·          Research dissemination and impact

·          Introduction to research methods

·          Consumer and stakeholder engagement

·          Introduction to a research translation framework

·          Working with your mentor

Participants’ managers or team leaders will be invited to parts of the two workshops.

Interested in taking part?

  • Please click here to learn how to develop your Expression of Interest, or contact Olivia King at
  • To download your Expression of Interest for STaRR Emerging Researcher Training, please click here. (EoIs open Monday 1 August 2022)
  • Submit your Expression of Interest by Monday 29 August 2022

The inaugural STaRR (Supporting Translation of Research in Rural and Regional areas) training program concluded in November 2022. The first year of the STaRR program saw an impressive 114 participants, including 27 mentors, 32 managers and 55 emerging researchers, complete the training. Congratulations to all!

For our 55 STaRR emerging researchers, the real work has begun. Many are progressing and finalising their research protocols with the expert support and guidance of their STaRR-trained mentor. Some have even commenced their data collection!

We have received some useful feedback from training participants, which, combined with the findings of part of our formal evaluation, has given us a good sense of where the STaRR training program needs to head in future.

The pre- and post-training survey findings show that the program has led to improved research and research translation skills for many participants. As this testimonial highlights, the training proved to be valuable and worthwhile:

“Thank you for a fantastic program- very informative and the knowledge of speakers involved was next to none. Very worthwhile 2 days!”

Naturally, we are delighted to learn that the training met the needs of some participants and led to improved research and translation skills. We are also very encouraged to enhance the program further in response to feedback captured both informally and through the evaluation surveys.

Specifically, we recognise that we could do more to meet the training needs of emerging researchers with different baseline research skills and experience, and different goals. We are working behind the scenes to enhance the program so it can better support research and translation skill development in managers and leaders, who are critical to the success of any research or translation endeavour. We are also considering several other improvements to the STaRR program.

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